17th Feb 2005
Choosing an Oven
An oven should give you years of service but buying an oven can be an expensive business so it’s important to make the right choice. There are many brands and models available on market, which offer a wide range of features.
Ovens are available in 3 standard sizes. The first is the single oven which measures 60cm wide x 60cm high and will fit into any standard kitchen. Double ovens are available in two sizes. The larger of the two, sized at 60cm wide x 90cm high, can be fitted into a wall unit. There is also a smaller option if you are looking for a double oven and that is the ‘built under’ style which is 60cm wide x 70cm high. This type of double oven gives you the flexibility of having two separate ovens (one large and one with a smaller capacity that also features a grill) as well as being space saving as it can still be installed under your worktop.
Free Standing or Built-in
Ovens are available as part of a freestanding cooker or as a separate unit, which one you choose depends on a couple of things. Firstly, you need to consider how much room you have in your kitchen. Secondly, you should consider ease of use.
Combined freestanding cookers are single units which slot into a gap in your kitchen units. The advantage of freestanding units is that they are easier to both install and also to remove in case there’s a need for repairs at a later date. The disadvantage of this type of oven is that the ovens sit very low to the ground. Double ovens in particular can be a nuisance to use because you practically have to get down on hands and knees to take food out.
Built-in ovens are separate from the hob and can be built in either under your work top or into a tall cabinet or tower unit. They may be a little more trouble to install and remove (not much though) than a freestanding unit, but have the definite advantage of being at eye level, which means that you don’t have to constantly bend down to check food.
The type of oven you choose will depend on your fuel supply.
Gas ovens give instant heat and good temperature control (which is also why gas hobs are such a popular choice even when combined with a separate electric oven). Electric ovens are a more popular choice than gas and have an excellent variety of features available. Electric ovens offer not only conventional or fan assisted cooking, but also multi-function cooking. This gives you the option of conventional, fan assisted or grill-only cooking as well as being able to use the grill in conjunction with the fan. In addition, some fan-assisted ovens don’t require pre-heating.